Matthews Beach Park

Boat Launch (Hand Carry)
Creek
Guarded Beach
Hiking Trails
Paths
Picnic Sites
Play Area/Playground
View
Waterfront
Address: 9300 51st Ave. NE, Seattle, WA
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About the Park

I love how the Seattle Parks website describes Matthews Beach as “Seattle’s largest freshwater bathing beach.” That description sounds straight out of the 50s. Regardless, it is a great beach and Lake Washington provides water temperatures that are tolerable. The park also has a lot more than just a good beach. From picnic areas, to a playground, to a basketball half court, there’s something for everyone.

Lake Washington from Matthews Beach Park

Lake Washington from Matthews Beach Park

The main attraction is the beach, of course. It’s staffed with at least 2 lifeguards in the summer, and has large changing rooms and a shower for rinsing off. The swim access dock offers two diving boards, although the high dive was down today. Although busy, and somewhat small, there’s even a little room to build a sand castle on the beach, although laying out your beach towel in the sand would probably be frowned upon due to the limited space.

There’s a large, relatively new playground with 10 swings, a number of slides, and a zip line slide thing. There’s a a little gazebo type thing with an access ramp which I can’t quite figure out. And there’s the always popular sand pit, in case you can’t get dirty enough on the regular equipment.

From the playground at Matthews Beach

From the playground at Matthews Beach

The picnic spots are numerous, and people seemed to be barbqueing everywhere, from the beachfront grass, to the more secluded upper sections of the park. With ideal access from the Burke-Gilman Trail, Matthews Beach Park is a great spot to take a quick pit-stop in, or spend more of the day there. I presume sunrise over the Cascades can be pretty nice there as well, although we haven’t made it for that occasion.

Plastic trees on a playground

Plastic trees on a playground